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Start Planning for World Masters Cup 2008, McCall, Idaho

Wed, Apr  4, 2007 - By Randy Bladel

The next World Masters Cup will take place on home snow the first week of March. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to experience the Worlds, this is a great opportunity.  I don’t think we’ll have a WMC here again for at least a decade.

McCall is a mountain resort community about a two hour bus ride north of the Boise airport, making transportation much easier than to the usual European venues. Racing will take place in Ponderosa State Park, a peninsula jutting into the town lake.  

Because of the relatively large numbers of Americans expected to attend, and also because J.D. Downing will have his hands quite full as one of the hosts of the competition, AXCS will not be offering the usual food and lodging packages as for overseas trips.

J. D. Downing recommends that American skiers plan on staying in one of the many condo complexes available. These are relatively inexpensive, and as far as he knows will be serviced by the free shuttle bus system always used at the Worlds. A rental car then not be necessary, though it may be desirable to rent one for the use of several people or units for grocery shopping and the like.  While there are apparently many beautiful rental houses in the area, one should be very careful about location, since the shuttle system is unlikely to serve houses not near hotels or condos.

J.D. further recommends that lodging be booked soon. He suggests forming lodging groups for each unit in which everyone antes up for their “share”.  If you need to back out, that’s fine, as long as you find someone else to take your place, or pay the share.  If a whole group falls apart, condo fees are refundable except for a small portion.   Other issues to consider include to sleeping arrangements of the units, and whether or not there’s a good place to wax, such as a garage or basement.  

The Worlds competition is likely the highest racing most of us will ever do. See my article about our recent WMC in Finland for some details. The races of variable distances are put together with combinations of 5, 10, and 15 kilometer loops of differing difficulty. (The 5A course in Rovaniemi, which I raced on a total of seven times in four races, had a steep two-plus kilometer climb right out of the stadium.) Older age groups ski progressively lesser distances on less difficult courses.  Because of the distance involved, and the likely conflict with the Swedish Vasaloppet,  many of the usual Euros are less likely to attend.  (My FIS rating was at it’s best after the Quebec Worlds, for similar reasons.)

Even though there are many very high-powered skiers at these games, don’t think that lesser ability will preclude any of us from a great experience. I met a French gentleman at my first WMC who was and remains very shaky on skis, easily beatable by nearly any Michigan Cup skier, and yet he returns every year, because he loves it.  

For further info, check the website http://www.mwc2008.com/, or it can be accessed via http://www.xcskiworld.com/performance.html as well.  Any one interested in joining us can call me @ (574)271-1379, or email me.

Randy Bladel